By Matthew Grayson
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called FIFA a bunch of “dictators and colonialists” for dismissing complaints from the Iranian football association after its women’s team was banned from an Olympic qualifier last week because of its Islamic dress.
“These are the dictators and colonialists who want to impose their lifestyle on others," he said in a news conference.
"We will deal with those who carried out this ugly job. We follow definite rights of our girls."
Jordan, the scheduled opponent for Friday’s fixture, was awarded a 3-0 win after the Iranian women took the pitch in Amman wearing white tracksuits and head scarves in accordance with religious custom.
Iranian FA president Ali Kafashian has since appealed to both the Asian Football Confederation and FIFA while telling state media he had the “necessary negotiations” to allow for the controversial coverings.
FIFA, however, denies any such understanding, instead insisting team officials were well-aware that the hijab scarf is banned for safety reasons – and has been since 2007.
Jordan's new FIFA vice-president Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein today promised to help mediate a resolution in the row.
“This is an important issue that I will raise with the Asian Football Confederation and with the International Federation of Association Football.
"We will work together to find a solution that respects the rules of the game and the culture at the same time,” Prince Ali, head of the West Asian Football Federation was quoted by Al Arabiya News.
FIFA previously banned Iran last April for similar kits. Its girls instead opted for specially made caps at the inaugural Youth Olympic Games in Singapore.
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